Look for some intriguing characters around the grounds at the Celebrate Vermont Festival, maybe even this morose but persevering Don Quixote! From the workshop of Vermont metal artist Chad Heise, these characters and animals made from found and recycled metal convey a depth of personality greater than their simple parts. The pieces are spare but include just the right details – Don Quixote’s mustache, the water buffalo’s big nostrils (below) – to let our imaginations take over.
Chad explains his work:
Carrying the proverbial (and literal) “torch” for my uncle, Bill Heise (who launched Heise Metal Sculpture in 1966), I remain true to his original vision of repurposing what he called “found” metal–discarded old agricultural equipment and tools collected from the fields and farms of Vermont. Tinkering around in my uncle’s shop since about the time I could walk, he taught me how to discover the delicate lines which exist within the component parts of this salvaged equipment (often defying their rugged nature), and how each sculpture could be given unique personality by something as simple as the size and type of nut, bolt, or washer chosen for eyes. It is with great pride that I continue on with what some have referred to as his unusual twist on the concept of “swords into ploughshares.” Not only do I feel I’m paying homage to my uncle and his unique artistic vision, but also to the farm equipment which faithfully turned soil for years, now given new life.
Meet Chad in person at the Festival and take one of his sculptures home to add a unique bit of character to your own landscape.